Analytical Literary Response of Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

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“Be calm! I entreat you to hear me before you give vent to your hatred on my devoted head. Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. ” (Shelley 70).

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein highlights the monstrosity in the 18th century and the people’s perceptions towards such issues. The monster operates at the center of the action of this novel, and the author describes it as hideously ugly, eight feet tall and that the society rejects (Shelley 101). Apart from the scaring appearance, the strange manner of the ghost’s creation emphasizes its character. Margaret Saville highlights a lonely journey upon the sea in which they later rescue Victor Frankenstein, a man floating on a massive ice fragment. He soon opens up about his family, adventures and a monster he has created. In the end, the monsters narration exhibits his journey, the troubles he has undergone, as well as the murders he committed.

The identified phrase highlights on various aspects including the narrator, characterization, and conflict in this society. Its tone also symbolizes the creature’s feelings and weariness from the constant torture. While the monster exhibits a sense of guilt, its choice of words sounds like he only intends to delay the repercussions he is likely to face from the creator (Shelley 42). The question whether he has not suffered enough that Victor wants to increase its misery is an indication that the monster was responsible for his brother’s death. The monsters words make it appealing to unravel the reason behind its clarity in communication. With the piteous tone, he almost convinces a person to feel sad for the challenges he is facing.

However, closer scrutiny reveals that the monster felt that Victor’s anger towards him was unjustified. Although he brought him to life, it is insensible that he expects Victor to pity him. Although victor might have acted negligently but not looking for the monster, in the beginning, it is unfair that the beast wants to blame him for all his calamities (Shelley 96). Although the monsters life has been challenging, he is willing to live longer. He is also ruthless and informs Victor that it becomes necessary, he will have to kill him to prolong his life. However, the anguish seems misleading because, despite the effort to convince everyone that he is harmless, his killing attitude puts Victor in a defensive mode.

Frankenstein is an attention grabber and is full of suspense, emotion, and mysteries that make it more interesting to read more and get the answers. Despite the ghost’s presence, it is evident that people in the story value relationships. Such is visible through the stream of letters between friends and family. Relating the characters according to their relationships is possible. For instance, when Victor's father travels to Ireland to retrieve him from prison, he shows a sigh of relief "My father!"cried I, while every feature and every muscle was relaxed from anguish to pleasure"(Shelley 130). The characters also suffer when they lose members of their family, primarily through the monsters murders. The monster takes four lives including that of Victor’s brother William, friend Henry, his wife Elizabeth as well as Justine the maid and family friend (Shelley 45). The monster is also a symbol of various monstrous characters in the novel. For instance, Victor’s knowledge to create a monster is extraordinary and dangerous. Also, he is outstanding due to the secrecy, selfishness, and over-ambition that alienate him from the ordinary society. Despite being ordinary from the outside, he might be a monster internally.

Victor feels that it is essential to guard the secrets discovered from science. Such is evident when praising the natural philosophy professor M. Krempe in the phrase “an uncouth man, but deeply imbued in the secrets of his science.” (Shelley 30). His obsession with creating life and destroying the monster remains a secret for long. Whereas Victor remains secretive to avoids shame and guilt, the monster remains in seclusion due to its distorted appearance.

Despite the dark events in the story, Frankenstein has a light which symbolizes knowledge, enlightenment and carious discoveries. The author perceives the natural world as a place with dark secrets and unknown operations and hidden passages. As such, the scientist aims at reaching the light that also has links to fire. The monsters first experience with a flame is exciting and after discovering that it can create light in the darkness. Although the monster's existence has caused suffering, it experiences a feeling of melancholy because its presence horrifies everyone including its creator. The phrase “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even YOU turned from me in disgust? ” (Shelley 93). Reveals this feeling.

In conclusion, Frankenstein uses the monster to reveal various aspects of the society. While he has potentially good intentions, he feels ugly, neglected and lonely. The reaction from the family in the forest upon seeing the ghost reveals how people shun inappropriate one based influence in the society. 

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, 1818. London, England: Dent. 2009.1-242

December 12, 2023



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